Expectation vs. Reality: Mom’s List of Parenting Letdowns Goes Viral
Parenting truly remains one of the world’s great mysteries. Whatever you think it’s going to be like, more than likely, you’re wrong. Rarely are expectations vs. reality moments more defined and ridiculous than in the parenting world.
One mom recently laid out all the wholesome moments and parts of parenting she thought she’d love, but plot twist, she doesn’t. Hayley Deroche, the content creator behind @sadbeige, started off her now-viral video with some pretty popular examples. At the top of this parenting expectations vs. reality list—family dinner.
“I thought it would be a lovely bonding experience at the end of the day, jokes on me because it is not,” Deroche joked. “Imagine inviting multiple wild mongoose to your dinner table. Ravenous but they are also immediately full because they do not like what has been placed on the table. Also, they have no bones, just flopping right out of those seats. I don’t know why you even have seats, honestly. Do you get to enjoy your meal? No, no, you don’t.”
Next up on the list—vacations. “Did you know that once you have children, vacations are just trips. You will be vacating your sanity because otherwise, all of the normal frustrations of parenting will be coming with you,” Deroche said. She goes on to explain all the not-so-relaxing elements of “vacations” parents are all too familiar with, from not having any alone time to getting in bed exhausted.
While you are on vacation, why not double down with a hike? What many parents might imagine as a great family bonding moment is often pervaded by the world’s slowest walkers, only encouraged by the promise of food through the “Hansel and Gretal” method Deroche references of dropping trail mix behind her to encourage her littles ones to speed up to catch up with the M&Ms.
The final two offenders on her list take aim at the “stock photo image” of parenting which always seems to show parents reading aloud and baking with their kids. The first Deroche notes, is especially confusing when most of her son’s graphic novels are all dialogue and the second, well you are just asking for it to look like “a flour factory exploded in your house.”
Parents in the comments echoed Deroche’s disappointments. “I got mad with you as you were talking about family dinner. Why are they like that?!” noted one user. “Vacations. It’s just me, keeping my kid alive in an non-baby/kid proofed house for a week. The STRESS is real,” added another parent. “I spent my entire pregnancy and the 1st year of my son’s life looking forward to spending time in the kitchen together. I hate it so so much,” lamented one mom.
Since Deroche’s initial list has gone viral she’s added on based on hilarious, too-true comments from parents and her own experiences. Birthday parties, amusement parks, playing pretend, recitals, and even seeing her child’s school art displayed online, all make the list of things that many parents just had higher hopes for.
This doesn’t mean that these moments aren’t still magical and special, but parents echo that its nice to get real about how these things are a little messier, more complicated or more annoying than they thought they would be. “A reminder for those that need it …… complaining that parenting is hard doesn’t mean you hate your children. It means that being a parent is hard sometimes. Especially if you are doing it right,” noted one parent in the comments.
Being authentic about the difficulties and disappointments of parenthood can help bring a little comfort and compassion to those who may feel like they just aren’t doing it right if they aren’t enjoying all those little things they are “supposed to.” If you want to start focusing more on the beautiful realities of parenting instead of the missed expectations, check out this guide to ditching mom guilt.